Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

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Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby Coyote » Thu May 16, 2013 2:28 pm

If Kamma is Cetana, why does an Arahant's Cetana not produce kamma-vipaka? Does it have something to do with the lack of ignorance in the Cetana?
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby ground » Thu May 16, 2013 6:01 pm

"But when one doesn't intend, arrange, or obsess [about anything], ...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby fivebells » Thu May 16, 2013 6:27 pm

ground, I don't think that really answers Coyote's question. Another way to phrase the question in terms of that sutta is, What's different about an arahant's intention, given that there is no production of renewed becoming? How do you eat, talk or travel about without intention? Does being an arahant mean disidentifying from the intentions and becomings which seem, from a conventional point of view, to be necessary to these activities?
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby santa100 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:52 pm

Coyote wrote:If Kamma is Cetana, why does an Arahant's Cetana not produce kamma-vipaka? Does it have something to do with the lack of ignorance in the Cetana?


That's true. Since ignorance has been abandoned, the self views of "I", "mine", "myself" also cease. So if there's no "self" who intends, kamma no longer be constructed upon that "self". For example, a worlding who intends to give food to a hungry beggar will receives good kamma in the future since s/he still sees a "self" who's giving something to the other. The arahant spontaneously gives without any "self" involved. Thus no future kamma..
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby male_robin » Thu May 16, 2013 7:07 pm

Coyote wrote:If Kamma is Cetana, why does an Arahant's Cetana not produce kamma-vipaka? Does it have something to do with the lack of ignorance in the Cetana?


I think, yes, the lack of kilesas; of afflicted motivation.

That is from AN 6.63 Nibbedhika Sutta

The passage in transliterated Pali:

Cetanāhaṃ, bhikkhave, kammaṃ vadāmi. Cetayitvā kammaṃ karoti: kāyena, vācāya, manasā.

The next passage seems to be saying that kamma originates from contact.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, kammānaṃ nidāna-sambhavo? Phasso, bhikkhave, kammānaṃ nidāna-sambhavo.

The section goes on to explain that kamma is experienced in the 5 realms of living beings. Next, that the fruit of kamma can arise immediately, later in life, or the next life. After that is explains that cessation (nirodha) of kamma is from the cessation of contact via the noble eight branched path. It then talks about understanding all that in terms of discerning the penetrative holy life.

Prior to that, the Sutta talks about the cessation of sensual lust, feelings (vedana), sanna, and asavas in the same way. After kamma, it discusses the cessation of dukkha in the same. The focus seems to be on cessation of phassa (contact) via the 8-fold path, which leads to or is followed by the penetrative holy life. Cessation (nirodha) of contact leads to nirodha of lust, feelings / sensations, conceptions / perceptions, inflows / outflows, kamma, and dukkha,

A key here might be understanding what is nirodha. I do not think it means total cessation, but rather the cessation or restraint of the three root kilesas. I think there is still contact between the 6 bases and their objects. However, sensual lust does not arise. There are still the three kinds of vedana and sanna. However, things are seen as they are without attachment or revulsion, so there are no inflows / outflows, no kamma generated, and no being overwhelmed by dukkha.

From what I i just looked at, निरोध nirodha can mean restraint, control, prevention ...
नि ni- orनिर् nir- can mean down, below, into, or out?
रोध rodha can mean growing, sprouting. Also impeding or blocking?

This is all tentative.
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby cooran » Thu May 16, 2013 9:16 pm

Hello all

This previous thread may be of interest:

Arahants and kamma
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=232

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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby Zakattack » Thu May 16, 2013 9:30 pm

ground wrote:
"But when one doesn't intend, arrange, or obsess [about anything], ...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

ground, I don't think that really answers Coyote's question. an arahant must intend. intention was included by Buddha as one of the four nutriments & thus necessities of life. here, Buddha appeared to explain good intention & bad intention (two strong men) drag a person to the vipaka (result) of a pit of fire. here, Buddha agreed with the saying: 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. but Right Intention (Samma Sankappa), the 2nd Path Factor, does not lead to the pit of fire. also, being completely cleansed from the three kinds of craving & particularly self-view certainly helps in the occurring of no vipaka (resultant suffering).

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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 16, 2013 10:51 pm

Greetings,

Actually, I think ground's response does answer the question.

Or to put it another way, an arahant neither generates nor sustains any sankharas (including kamma) founded in avijja.

Coyote wrote:If Kamma is Cetana, why does an Arahant's Cetana not produce kamma-vipaka? Does it have something to do with the lack of ignorance in the Cetana?

So yes... think of it in terms of paticcasamuppada (i.e. dependent arising of samsaric experience) if that helps.

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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby ground » Fri May 17, 2013 1:36 am

fivebells wrote:ground, I don't think that really answers Coyote's question.

Zakattack wrote:ground, I don't think that really answers Coyote's question.

retrofuturist wrote:Actually, I think ground's response does answer the question.

I agree with retrofuturist.

The issue however is that the wording is "answer Coyote's question" while fivebells can only refer to his own doubt and Zakattack can only refer to his own doubt and retrofuturist can only refer to his own certainty and ground can only refer to his own certainty.

It is likely that Coyote's doubt ressembles the doubts of fivebells and Zakattack whatever the reason may be if it is so. :sage:
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 17, 2013 2:48 am

ground wrote:
fivebells wrote:ground, I don't think that really answers Coyote's question.

Zakattack wrote:ground, I don't think that really answers Coyote's question.

retrofuturist wrote:Actually, I think ground's response does answer the question.

I agree with retrofuturist.

The issue however is that the wording is "answer Coyote's question" while fivebells can only refer to his own doubt and Zakattack can only refer to his own doubt and retrofuturist can only refer to his own certainty and ground can only refer to his own certainty.

It is likely that Coyote's doubt ressembles the doubts of fivebells and Zakattack whatever the reason may be if it is so.
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby Gena1480 » Fri May 17, 2013 2:56 am

i think
Arahant has intention without passion (dispassion)
while the worldling has intention with passion
there is two types of aggregates
the clinging aggregates
the aggregates with delight and passion
and aggregates with out delight and passion
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby fivebells » Fri May 17, 2013 3:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:an arahant neither generates nor sustains any sankharas (including kamma) founded in avijja.


OK, but they do generate sankharas? How does this look, outside of the chain of DO? Is it like the conscious fabrication of jhana, just without attachment/clinging?
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 17, 2013 3:43 am

Greetings,

fivebells wrote:OK, but they do generate sankharas?

Not sankharas dependent upon avijja... hence,

fivebells wrote:How does this look, outside of the chain of DO?

Yes, outside of it. Paticcasamuppada has no revelance once its source is destroyed.

As for what is experienced, I'll defer and allow an arahant to respond to your question. It would not be proper for me to do so, as I am not.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby Zakattack » Fri May 17, 2013 10:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:Actually, I think ground's response does answer the question. Or to put it another way, an arahant neither generates nor sustains any sankharas (including kamma) founded in avijja.

Friend. There is appreciation (mudita) for your metta towards Ground. But the omission of crucial conditions of avijja (ignorance), craving (tanha) & sakkaya ditthi (self-view) are where Ground's reply falls short to some. The way it is, without doubt, is arahants produce taintless sankhara. To the novice, Ground's reply may give rise to the mistaken view an arahant's kamma ends due to non-thinking & non-doing (rather than due to the remainderless extinguishing of self-view).

And the Blessed One said: "Whosoever, Ananda, has developed, practiced, employed, strengthened, maintained, scrutinized, and brought to perfection the four constituents of psychic power could, if he so desired, remain throughout a world-period or until the end of it. The Tathagata, Ananda, has done so. Therefore the Tathagata could, if he so desired, remain throughout a world-period or until the end of it."

And at the Capala shrine the Blessed One thus mindfully and clearly comprehending renounced his will to live on. And upon the Lord's renouncing his will to live on, there came a tremendous earthquake, dreadful and astonishing, and thunder rolled across the heavens.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html


When an arahant speaks, if they do not engage/produce vaci sankhara, how do they speak?

Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech. That's why directed thought & evaluation are verbal sankhara.

MN 44

Bonds are gone for him without conceits,
All delusion's chains are cast aside:
Truly wise, he's gone beyond such thoughts.
That monk still might use such words as "I,"
Still perchance might say: "They call this mine."
Well aware of common worldly speech,
He would speak conforming to such use.

SN 1.25 Araha.m Sutta: The Arahant

The above quote not only shows arahants produce/engage verbal sankhara but also are liberated from kamma vipaka due to an absence of conceit (aka self-view).

To borrow a phrase from the Tao Te Ching: "The true sage :sage: can talk all day without getting hoarse, so complete is his harmony".

As for the quote below, is shows arahants function as pure aggregates, including sankhara aggregate.

"Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: A monk, a worthy one (arahant), with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"

"Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications (Sankhara)... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is unsatisfactory. That which is unsatisfactory has ceased and gone to its end."

"Very good, my friend Yamaka. Very good.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby pegembara » Fri May 17, 2013 3:30 pm

Without any idea of a self, there is no one doing the deed or receiving its consequences. The arahant has no such burden left.

There is the deed but no doer; there is suffering but no sufferer; there is the path no one to enter it; and there is liberation but no one to attain it.


Only the aggregates remain ie. nibbana with depersonalised aggregates.

"What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as being in form?... Elsewhere than form?... In feeling?... Elsewhere than feeling?... In perception?... Elsewhere than perception?... In fabrications?... Elsewhere than fabrications?... In consciousness?... Elsewhere than consciousness?"

"No, my friend."

"Do you regard the Tathagata as that which is without form, without feeling, without perception, without fabrications, without consciousness?"

"No, my friend."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



Inappropriate attention leads to thinking in terms of kamma-vipaka.

"And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance is abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to. Through his attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his not attending to ideas fit for attention, both unarisen fermentations arise in him, and arisen fermentations increase.

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby Sylvester » Sun May 19, 2013 11:45 am

SN 12.51 might offer a clue as to why an Arahant does not create kamma -

What do you think, monks, can a monk whose taints are destroyed generate a meritorious volitional formation, or a demeritorious volitional formation, or an impertubable volitional formation?

No, venerable sir.

‘Taṃ kiṃ maññatha, bhikkhave, api nu kho khīṇāsavo bhikkhu puññābhisaṅkhāraṃ vā abhisaṅkhareyya apuññābhisaṅkhāraṃ vā abhisaṅkhareyya āneñjābhisaṅkhāraṃ vā abhisaṅkhareyyā’’ti? ‘‘No hetaṃ, bhante’’.


One way of interpreting this is to suggest that the Arahant does not have any volitional formations whatsoever, in the sense that all of an Arahant's saṅkhāra are kammically null. Perhaps the Abhidhammic interpretation that the Arahant merely experiences kiriya/functional kamma is correct. But that is a bit difficult to reconcile with SN 12.38 which identifies 3 verbs for saṅkhāra, ie ceteti (think/intend), pakappeti (plan) and anuseti (lie with (an anusaya)). Perhaps the Arahant thinks in a special way, ie devoid of lust, hate and delusion? These 3 also coincide with the most common listing of the anusayas.

Another way to look at this is to connect the word "generate" to how it is used elsewhere in the suttas, especially SN 12. Abhisankharoti appears in SN 12.25, in the 2nd last para of BB's translation. It appears that one can generate kāyasaṅkhāra, vacīsaṅkhāra and manosaṅkhāra, either deliberately or undeliberately, thus linking back to SN 12.38's listing of anusaya as one of DO's saṅkhāra.

Abhisankharoti appears also in AN 3.23, in the context of the classification known elsewhere as dark kamma, light kamma, light-&-dark kamma, such as AN 4.233. In turn, AN 4.233 is interesting. It uses the verb abhisankharoti for the 3 types of said kamma, but when the sutta discusses the kamma that leads to the destruction of kamma, that verb is not used. Oddly enough, such kamma is not defined by any verb, unlike the earlier 3 cases.

So, it appears that cetana per se is not kammically effective. Only cetanathat is abhisankhata leads to rebirth. So, what makes abhisankharoti so connected to rebirth? To this, we'll need to turn to the Upanisadic literature and the centrality of abhisamskaroti to their creation of "self" by Prajapati. It appears that the Buddha cleverly picked the most "generative" vocab from the Upanisads and instead of lauding it, points out its role in the origination of Suffering.
Last edited by Sylvester on Mon May 20, 2013 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why does arahant's Cetana not produce kamma/vipaka?

Postby Coyote » Sun May 19, 2013 5:07 pm

Thanks for all the replies everyone. Haven't had a lot of time to look over this thread in detail over the past couple of days, but I am getting to it.

Would it be fair to say that the "classical" explanation is that of kiriya mentioned above - i.e that the Arahants cetana/sankhara are karmically neutral? I'd really like to have the classical position down as a benchmark to evaluate the various ideas and suttas put forward in this thread.
Thanks for all the help.

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